Cable channel Turner Classic Movies has announced that in honor of Gay Pride in June, it’s going to air a month-long series of films exploring “the varied concepts, stereotypes and imagery of gays & lesbians as represented in classic Hollywood cinema.” Hosted by film historian Richard Barrios (Screened Out: Playing Gay in Hollywood from Edison to Stonewall), the series — which will air every Monday and Wednesday night in June at 8 p.m. ET — will also have guest commentary from “several prominent figures [who] will provide their thoughts and remarks, including Michael Musto, Tab Hunter, Ron Nyswaner, Charles Busch and Alan Cumming.”
My first thought upon hearing this: Cool! Strong women in menswear!
My second thought: Hey, none of those people in that press release are women. Some of the films the series will air include The Broadway Melody (1929), The Maltese Falcon (1941), The Picture of Dorian Grey (1945) and Designing Woman (1957). These are undoubtedly classics, but where are the ladies?
I know that the schedule may not yet have been finalized, so there’s still time for TCM to properly represent the “gay and lesbian” experience by including some lesbians — both as commenters and in films. In case TCM is looking for some suggestions as to which to include, might I suggest the following:
Marlene Dietrich in Morocco (1930)
That movie poster just doesn’t adequately prepare you for what you’ll see in the film; here’s a hint (or watch Ms. Dietrich kiss a girl on our Video Picks page):
Greta Garbo in Queen Christina (1933)
Katharine Hepburn in Christopher Strong (1933)
What are your favorite classic subtexty Hollywood films?